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3D NAND vs. MLC

D Flash Rod Connecting Layers Graphic

 

For NAND Flash-based SSDs, or solid state drives, there is a constant push to fit an increasing amount of storage in a decreasing amount of space. As devices become smaller and smaller, SSDs have to fit these confined form factors. At the same time that devices are getting smaller, they are also getting more powerful, and they need increased storage. MLC (multi-level cell) flash is one option that engineers and developers rely on to increase data storage, but there is now another option: 3D NAND. How does 3D NAND compare to MLC? This 3D NAND vs. MLC comparison will explain.

 

NAND Flash 101

NAND flash is a technology used in SSDs to store data. With NAND flash, information is electronically stored, read, and erased with a series of voltages. NAND refers to the logic gate type used with this technology. Flash was developed as an alternative to hard disk drive, or HDD, storage. HDD storage consists of a moving disk, which makes it prone to failures. Flash technology does not have moving parts, so it is more reliable than HDD storage, especially in industrial applications in which shock and vibration levels are high. Flash is also a form of non-volatile storage, which means that it retains data without power.

 

NAND flash comes in a variety of types. SLC (single-level cell) flash is considered to be most reliable and has the longest lifespan. However, it tends to have lower capacity caps, since it only stores one bit of data per cell. MLC flash stores two bits of data per cell, which allows it to have greater capacities. TLC (triple-level cell) flash stores three bits of data per cell, so it tends to have the highest capacities, but it is also the least reliable option.

 

3D NAND vs. MLC

3D NAND is a new, powerful entry into the SSD conversation. SLC, MLC, and TLC flash are 2D, or planar. 3D NAND attempts to solve the problem of increased data storage demands in small spaces by building storage upward. This allows devices to be smaller while offering increased storage space—something that is increasingly critical to the SSD market.

 

When compared to standard MLC, 3D NAND offers significantly greater storage capacity. It is also faster than 2D MLC and has a longer lifespan. However, it is not necessary to choose between 3D and MLC, as 3D NAND is available in MLC format. The real choice is between 2D and 3D NAND.

 

Despite the benefits of 3D NAND, it isn’t the right choice for every device. Delkin can help you decide which NAND format is best for your application and budget. Contact us today for more information about 3D NAND vs. MLC flash.

 

ORDER DELKIN INDUSTRIAL FLASH STORAGE TODAY through our distribution partner Newark.

 

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